uncontained: categories always leak

uncontained: categories always leak

California College of the Arts (CCA)

April 14, 2023
uncontained: categories always leak
CCA Curatorial Practice thesis exhibition
April 28–May 13, 2023
CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
360 Kansas Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
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California College of the Arts Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice, in partnership with CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, presents uncontained: categories always leak, curated by CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice Class of 2023: Julianna Heller, Zoë Latzer, and Meghan Smith.

uncontained: categories always leak navigates colonial power, museological plunder, and global consumption through the concept of containment. With the vase as our point of departure, we address and break apart the physical force of containment as manifested in tightly controlled museum settings. Exhibiting artists use vases, vitrines, or vessel-like forms to trace global power dynamics while also addressing broader concepts of value, spillage, and emptiness. We ask, how does containment relate to identity, culture, and power? What, or who, is being contained? How are artists breaking free of restraints, liberating what is confined, flowing over and beyond their containers?

The five artists—Candice Lin, Cathy Lu, LaRissa Rogers, Cammie Staros, and Stephanie Syjuco—unearth the hidden histories of colonial goods to connect material culture with human experiences. Los Angeles-based sculptor Cammie Staros uses ancient ceramic techniques to sculpt, twist, and distort classical-style vases before plunging them into live aquariums, bringing symbols of so-called “Western civilization” into contemporary settings. Los Angeles-based artist LaRissa Rogers uses materials like sugar and porcelain to challenge the politics of hybridity, authenticity, and visibility as a Black and Korean woman. 2022 SFMOMA SECA Awardee Cathy Lu’s site-specific installation displays concrete casts of both discarded objects and priceless treasures, questioning cultural notions of value and authenticity. Oakland-based artist Stephanie Syjuco investigates and intervenes in archives, unearthing the imperialist origins of museum collections. Los Angeles-based artist Candice Lin, recently included in the 2022 Venice Biennale, researches the material histories of commodities as they relate to global trade, migration, slavery, and violence.

uncontained: categories always leak will be on view from April 28 to May 13, 2023 at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition with artist remarks and curator tours on Friday, April 28, from 5 to 8 pm. An exhibition catalog with original essays and interviews by members of the curatorial cohort, and featuring newly commissioned inserts by Consuelo Tupper Hernández, Shao-Feng Hsu, and Gericault De La Rose, will be available for purchase from the Wattis Institute. On May 6, from 6 to 7pm, exhibiting artist Stephanie Syjuco will introduce a performance by De La Rose titled In Between, which queers the concept of body-as-vessel through art historical references and Filipinx manananggal mythology. More information for visitors is available on the Wattis Institute website, including information about the exhibition and publication. 

About CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice
In CCA’s two-year MA in Curatorial Practice program, students work closely with faculty alongside visiting curators, designers, and artists to develop the intellectual and analytical skills needed to pursue a range of professional paths in curating and contemporary art. The program has a broad perspective of the curatorial, positioning the curator as a productive agent and researcher who embraces context as a valuable asset for articulating connections among artists, ideas, objects, archives, institutions, digital technologies, and audiences. The program equips students with knowledge and tools, inspires curiosity, and builds self-confidence for working creatively across disciplines and thinking imaginatively about mediation today, incorporating activity beyond art into the field of curating.

About Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
Founded in 1998 at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and located a few blocks from its campus, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts is a nonprofit exhibition venue and research institute dedicated to contemporary art and ideas. As an exhibition space, it commissions and shows new work by emerging and established artists from around the world.

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California College of the Arts (CCA)
April 14, 2023

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